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Surveying Historic Timber Frames – Thaxted - 30th April

Thaxted Guildhall, Town St, Thaxted, CM6 2LA - £125 + VAT plus booking fee

(Thaxted Guildhall artwork by Stephen Boniface)

Why you should do this training course

The survey, or inspection, of any historic timber-frame structure should only be undertaken by skilled and experienced professionals.   This training course will help you with all the information that you need to be able start to understand these fabulous buildings.

The output of any building inspection or building survey is a written report.  Every surveyor will be judged by the quality of the report produced.  You might be the best surveyor ever, but if you can’t write a good report, based upon a thorough understanding of the property, then you are at risk of complaints from your client and open yourself up to potential negligence claims.

You will be within a safe and nurtured group of like-minded people.   Use the opportunity to ask any questions that arise.  There is no such thing a silly question.

By the end of the training you will be able to do and know the following..:

  • Learn how timber-framed buildings are formed
  • What are the typical defects and problems found
  • Understand how trees works as natural structures, to the technical side of framing
  • How to use photos in your report
  • Have better confidence in yourself
  • Understand about writing a professional and well presented report for your client


This training will cover..:

  • RICS complaints, public perception and professional standards
  • The relevance of the RICS Home Survey Standard 2019
  • What does the client really need to know?
  • How alterations affect timber-framed buildings
  • Decay, why it happens and how best to manage it
  • Develop a decision-making process
  • Recommendations and prioritising actions the client should take


Course Format

This training is provided in-person.

Develop confidence and competence in your understanding of historic timber-frame buildings, to improve the quality of your work, reduce the risk of negligence claims and provide a better service for your client.

This is a thoroughly unique opportunity to spend the day in a relatively informal setting for you to hear all about the subject with friendly discussions, stories and expert technical guidance.

The day will look in detail at the inspection process, diagnosis, decision making and report writing.  Develop a decision-making process that leads to justifiable, practical and pragmatic advice for clients.

Understanding timber-frame construction, how they stand up, being able to identify different types and ages of timber-frames and how to deal with problems when they go wrong will all be covered during the day.




This training would suit professionals from a wide variety of disciplines including residential surveyors and valuers, building surveyors, architects, and structural engineers at all levels of training or experience.

This training is open and available to everyone.  Please do consider your own personal circumstances and your ability to use stairs as this is very likely to apply to the venue, town walk and/or any private property visit.  There may be uneven terrain and during any walkabout we may be crossing roads. Do let us know if you require any reasonable adjustments and we can discuss this further and try to adapt where possible.



Typical Programme

(Hot and cold drinks provided throughout the day).

9 to 9:30 – Arrival

9:45 – Introductions

10:00 – Talk and discussions start.   Stephen has over 40 years experience and wants to share that with you.

The day will be entirely flexible to suit the needs of the group.  This is a unique opportunity for you to learn and develop ideas, skills and knowledge that you can’t read in a text book or watch online!

We will maximise the opportunity during the day to look at local buildings in the vicinity which are of interest.  This ‘walk and talk’ is where you will really learn about the subject and so much more.

Q&A – Close and depart.

Case Study Examples

Please feel free to bring your usual report writing templates with you, in paper format and/or on your electronic devices.  We will discuss use of modern technology.

The day will be flexible and will be adjusted to suit the delegates.   As these are small group sessions there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and discuss matters that arise during the day. Feel free to raise matters that you wish to consider and discuss.


This training will provide about 6 hours of formal CPD.  We will provide a CPD certificate.

Training Instructor

This training will be run by two of the leading surveyors in the country:  Stephen Boniface FRICS

Stephen started his career, over 40 years ago, in general practice, then became involved in building conservation over 30 years ago. During this period Stephen has also been involved in many litigation cases as an Expert Witness and brings this experience into his training.  Stephen is a past Chair of the RICS Building Conservation Forum and of the RICS Building Surveying Faculty Group.  He was a partner in Whitworth – a firm of Architects & Surveyors, but now concentrates on training fellow professionals.


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